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North Korea denounces South Korea’s joint naval drill



Pyongyang, July 12 (IANS) North Korea has denounced South Korea and US for their joint naval drill in the southern waters off the Korean Peninsula, an official said on Saturday.

The drill defies North Korea’s repeated appeals of ending political and military hostilities and improving north-south ties, Xinhua reported.

"The planned reckless military actions are another open challenge to the sincere efforts of the army and people of North Korea to defuse tension on the peninsula and create peaceful atmosphere," the official said.

The nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier USS George Washington arrived on Friday in South Korea’s southern port city of Pusan for a five-day port call ahead of the drills.

The drill will be carried out in southern and southwestern waters off the Korean Peninsula July 16-21, and then on July 21-22 the naval forces of both countries will conduct a joint drill with Japan in southern waters off the South Korean resort Jeju Island.

North Korea also warned the US that the more persistently it resorts to nuclear threat, the further it will strengthen its nuclear force, which it said is always ready to strike.

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